BIG3 - Three Peaks higher than 3.000 metres
Great moments on three ski mountains, three platforms and a rally
Let's start with the obligatory superlative: Sölden is Austria's only ski resort which has opened up three mountains higher than three thousand meters with state-of-the-art mountain gondola lifts. Gaislachkogl (3058 m), Tiefenbachkogl (3250 m) and Schwarze Schneid (3340 m) symbolize the special "BIG 3" experience on skis or on foot: a truly memorable adventure comprising eye-catching viewing platforms towering high above the sea of summits in the Ötztal Alps and endless ski runs with truly record-breaking altitude meters: the BIG 3 captivate winter enthusiasts in every sense.
The BIG3 Platforms
The three vantage points above 3000 meters altitude literally broaden your horizon and fill the storage volume of smartphones & digital cams faster than you can say "awesome!" Although these are top-notch selfie spots you should definitely enjoy the moments at Sölden's BIG 3 unfiltered and "live".
BIG 3 Platform Gaislachkogl (3.048 m)
Next to the top station of Gaislachkogl mountain gondola you'll find the light glass-steel construction of the panorama restaurant at Gaislachkogl. Take off your skis and walk across the suspension bridge from the top of Gaislachkogl to the panoramic roof terrace where breathtaking 360-degree views await you. Tip: This platform is the fastest to reach from the valley.
BIG 3 Panorama Footbridge Tiefenbach (3.250 m):
A 15 m high pyramid at the top station of Tiefenbach mountain gondola marks the adventure's core.
The glass-covered footbridge, suspended by steel ropes, towers high above the valley, protruding some 20 meters above the glacier's abyss and ending in the airy nothingness. Only nearby Wildspitze, Tirol's highest peak, competes with the dizzying 60-meter deep view of rocks and ski slopes.
BIG 3 Natural Platform Schwarze Schneid (3340 m):
About 90 vertical meters (15 min. walking time) above the mountain station of Schwarze Schneid mountain gondola you'll find a pyramid and place of strength, perching at an altitude of 3340 m in the middle of a circular platform made of larch wood - framed by the sky and snow. Those who conquer the steep ascent will be rewarded with picturesque vistas of countless three thousand meter high peaks. The 360° view also comprises the Dolomites in the south and Zugspitze in the north - some 100 km away.
Up and down the three 3000 meter high mountains in a single day: the sports program is ambitious but doable. Moreover, it marks the baptism of fire and the absolute highlight for all true Sölden fans. Experienced skiers/snowboarders cope with the nearly 50 kilometer long ski trail across the entire ski area in about 4 hours.
In total, they master more than 5200 meters of difference in altitude a time (up and down). Highlights of this marathon sightseeing tour on skis include the wow views from the BIG 3 Platforms and the seemingly endless ski runs that pay homage to the huge variety of the ski area.
The rally in brief
From the base station of Giggijoch mountain gondola you head towards Giggijoch and further on to Rettenbach Glacier and the first BIG 3 experience on Schwarze Schneide (3340 m). Continue on the glacier route to adjacent Tiefenbach Glacier and the second BIG 3 vista point, Tiefenbachkogl (3250 m). Don't forget to take a selfie with Wildspitze peak in the background! Now you ski down some 2000 altitude meters: from Rettenbach Glacier on the ski route through Rettenbachtal to the valley station of Gaislachkogl mountain gondola. And uphill again to the third BIG 3 vantage spot, Gaislachkogl (3058 m), before mobilizing the last reserves to return safely to the valley floor.
Here you will find a detailed route description of the BIG 3 Rally
|Length in m.|
Starting point is the base terminal of the Giggijoch gondola. Ascent with the Giggijoch gondola to the Giggijoch.
Riding up to Giggijoch ski area you will enjoy the first views of Sölden's unique panorama. Past the hamlet of Hochsölden (2,090 m) you reach Giggijoch top terminal within a 10-minute gondola ride.
At Giggijoch you take Silberbrünnl quad chair lift which takes you effortlessly up to Rotkogljoch mountain hut (2,662 m).
Enjoy the stunning view from Rotkogljoch saddle and take a look at the day's route including Gaislachkogl peak and Rettenbach Glacier. Then you continue heading towards the glacier ski lifts.
The blue ski trail no. 23 leads down to the base terminal of Einzeiger quad chair lift, one of the connecting lifts on the way to the glacier.
Right beside the Restaurant Schwarzkogl you head towards Gletscherexpress 8-person gondola.
|Transfer to Gletscherexpress Gondola||
After a short downhill ride you reach Gletscherexpress gondola taking you up to the glacier ski area.
Indulge in scenic views of the surrounding peaks while riding to Rettenbach Glacier and to the first stopover at Schwarze Schneide vantage point.
|Transfer to Schwarze Schneid Gondola||
A short walk awaits you across Rettenbach Glacier's car park to Schwarze Schneid base terminal.
|Schwarze Schneid Gondola||
Schwarze Schneid gondola takes you up to the middle station and further on to the top terminal at 3,250 m. Store your skis and walk on foot towards the BIG 3 nature platform of Schwarze Schneide peak.
|Ascent to BIG3 platform||
The ascent to the BIG 3 Nature Platform along a broad path takes about 20 minutes and is worth the effort.
|BIG3 - SCHWARZE SCHNEID||A wooden platform with a giant obelisk in its center is the highlight of the 360-degree panorama. On clear days you can enjoy the view of mountain summits that are more than 100 kilometers away!||3.340||-||-||-|
After returning to Schwarze Schneid top terminal you grab your skis and boards again and head for the outstanding ski tunnel via the blue ski trail no 32.
|Ski tunnel - Piste 38||
Passing the ski tunnel and following the blue ski trail no 38 you reach Tiefenbach Glacier and the base terminal of Tiefenbach 8-person gondola.
Here you take off your skis and ride uphill towards the top terminal of Tiefenbach 8-person gondola.
|BIG3 - TIEFENBACH||The top terminal features a 15 meter high pyramid coupled with a 20 meter long footbridge. The panoramic views are incomparable, especially the Wildspitze peak (3,776 m), Tirol's highest mountain.||3.249||-||-||-|
|Piste 38 + 36||
Afterwards you ski down the slope until you get to the red ski trail no 36 leading to Seiterkar 6-person chair lift. Turn left and take the chair lift back to Rettenbach Glacier.
|6SK Seiterkar||You reach Seiterjöchl saddle (3,051 m) within a 4-minute lift ride. Turn left and head towards Rettenbach Glacier. At this point a 12 km long downhill ski trails awaits you! Elevation change: about 1,650 meters.||2.793||3.060||267||900|
|Piste 34 + 33||Continue skiing down the blue red ski trail no 34, then follow the blue trail no 33 to Rettenbach Glacier.||3.060||2.674||-386||2.300|
|Piste 30 - Rettenbach valley||
Before you reach the Glacier Stadium you turn right into piste no. 30 through Rettenbach valley - the trail starts steeply and continues with almost no change in altitude - and down to Stabele chair lift.
|Piste 6||Crossing the blue ski trail no 6 you follow the route in direction Gaislachkogl base terminal. After about 500 meters you turn left into the black ski trail no. 7.||1.975||1.923||-52||500|
Ski trail no. 7 is quite steep until you reach Innerwald beginner's ski area located right above Sölden. There you take the red ski trail no. 10 leading down to Gaislachkogl gondola.
|Gaislachkogl Gondola I + II||
Again you take off the skis and boards, and you cross the main road through a pedestrian's tunnel. In 2 sections you take an uphill ride to the top of Gaislachkogl peak.
|BIG3 - GAISLACHKOGL||
On Gaislachkogl we climb on foot the third and last BIG 3 viewing platform. A marvelous suspension bridge connects the vantage point with the rooftop terrace of the new gourmet restaurant.
|Piste 1 + 4 + 3a||
A truly unforgettable downhill awaits you on the ski trails no. 1 to no. 4 and no. 3a, leading directly down to Wasserkar triple chair lift.
After leaving the lift you take the red ski trail no. 2.
Follow ski trail no. 2 down to Heidebahn quad chair lift and continue in direction Gaislachkogl base terminal on the blue ski trail no. 8.
|Piste 8||Follow ski trail no. 8 and 9 until you reach the last track of the BIG 3 Rally at Gaislachkogl base terminal. .||1.950||1.370||-580||4.700|
|END BASE TERMINAL GAISLACHKOGL||
You did it! 50 kilometers of trails create memories that will stay with you forever.
If you want to know exactly which distance your legs have covered and how many hours you needed for the entire round, you should download the Sölden App and start the Sölden Ski Tracker. The BIG 3 checkpoints are easy to collect and, on top of that, you can win cool prizes: 1 drink voucher per day for the first 3 who have conquered the BIG 3 Rally and 3 monthly 1-day skipasses which will be raffled among all successful participants in the respective period (end of December, January, February and March).